If you ever thought you couldn't win by losing, here's a story for you. Even though Meghan Vogel came in last place in the recent Ohio D-III 3,200-meter state finals, she came out as the winner.
With just 50 meters left in the race, Vogel -- a junior who had earlier won the 1,600-meter race -- noticed that one of her opponents, sophomore Arden McMath, collapsed in front of her. It was obvious McMath couldn't finish, so Vogel did what the rules say she can't: she helped McMath to the finish line despite facing a disqualification.
And as the two limped along, the crowd roared. Luckily for the rest of the world, the act of sportsmanship was caught on video:
Here's how the News-Herald of Ohio describes what happened:
The athlete on the left is Meghan Vogel of West Liberty Salem, a school located in west central Ohio about 50 miles northeast of Dayton. The athlete on the right is Arden McMath of Arlington, which is about 15 miles south of Findlay. With about 50 meters to go, McMath's legs buckled and it was clear she would be unable to finish. Vogel, who had earlier won the D-III 1,600, was running in last and saw what was playing out in front of her. She came up right next to McMath and, well, you see the rest. The crowd grew louder as they both crossed the finish line, with Vogel allowing McMath to finish ahead of her.
The Springfield News-Sun explains why the girls weren't disqualified like they should have been:
By rule, a runner in track or cross country is automatically disqualified for aiding another runner. In this instance, however, meet management took no action. McMath was given 14th place in 12:29.90 and Vogel 15th in 12:30.24. Vogel made sure McMath crossed the finish line first because she had been ahead of her.
The move is reminiscent of what happened in 2008. Back then, during a a softball game between Western Oregon and Central Washington, two central Oregon players carried an opponent around the bases after she hit a home run and then tore her knee rounding first base. Watch as Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace carry Sara Tucholsky from base to base (Tucholsky's teammates or coaches could not or else she would be ruled out):
“Helping her across the finish line was a lot more satisfying than winning the state championship,” Vogel told the News-Sun.
Not just for you, Meghan. Not just for you.